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‘Arabising’ security efforts in Syria

Apr 22,2018 - Last updated at Apr 22,2018

Saudi Arabia is reportedly floating, once again, the idea of sending its own troops to Syria as part of a coalition of forces to promote security and order in the country.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir has repeated this offer to the US with the hope that this time Washington will take it more seriously. Jubier has also disclosed that his country made a similar offer to former US president Barack Obama back in 2013, but it was turned down ostensibly for fear of getting the US  too involved in the Syrian civil war.

Now, it seems the newly-appointed National Security Adviser John Bolton and the nominee for the post of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have endorsed this offer, which they view as an initiative that would facilitate the implementation of President Donald Trump's recent announcement that he would like to extricate US soldiers from the Syrian mess by letting others “take care” of the Syrian quagmire.

Riyadh, and other interested Arab capitals, would be able to fill the vacuum that would be created if President Trump makes good on his decision to pull out US armed forces from Syria. Riyadh and other Arab capitals can also help pay the bill for any such deployment, thus relieving Washington from having to foot the bill alone.

Other Arab countries have been mentioned for this purpose, including Egypt, Qatar and the UAE. This Arab initiative is, of course, worthwhile promoting because it would "Arabise" the efforts to find a peaceful and political solution to the eight-year-old Syrian crisis.

Instead of leaving the problem to foreign involvement for a resolution according to their own agenda, Arab states should be in the vanguard of any such effort. Too bad former president Obama did not act on this Arab initiative when it was first made. Had he done so, the Syrian conflict would have taken a different turn, and for the better.

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